Minimum salary to be introduced for settlement rights

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, will declare new rules this week. They signify migrants working in the UK must earn at least £35,000 a year if they want to stay longer than five years.



The number of migrant workers allowed to stay permanently in the UK will be cut by two-thirds under moves to bring in a minimum salary for settlement rights.

The government’s immigration advisers have predicted the policy will see the number of foreign workers permitted settlement each year drop from 60,000 to 20,000.

In 2010, almost 15,700 visas were handed to overseas domestic workers and 1,360 were allowed to settle here.

Presently, migrants from outside the EU who work legitimately in the UK for five years are eligible to apply for settlement, signifying they can live here forever and later apply for British citizenship.

The Home Office is also planning to make it tougher for nannies and other domestic workers from outside the EU to stay in the UK long term.

It is part of the coalition’s wider drive to cut overall annual net migration to the “tens of thousands”.

Figures last week depicted net migration, the difference between those arriving in the UK and those leaving, remained high at 250.

Ministers want to crack the almost mechanical connection between people arriving on work permits and settlement.

Under the proposals, in future only those earning £35,000 or more will be entitled for settlement after five years.

May expects that this will make sure only the “brightest and best” will remain here in the long term.

It repeats alike proposals presently being considered by the Government to require those sponsoring partners or relatives arriving on family visas to earn more than £25,000.

On the other hand, the settlement suggestions will meet resistance from business leaders who are concerned it will damage the UK’s ability to attract the best workers.

The Department of Health is also expected be apprehensive that the supply of foreign nurses will come to an end.

There are also proposals to alter the rules surrounding foreign domestic workers such as nannies, cooks and servants.

Those from outside the EU will only be permitted to come to the UK with foreign visitors and must leave after six months, when the visitor also leaves.  Meanwhile the ones working for foreign diplomats, however, will be allowed to remain with the diplomat until their tour of duty ends.


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